Introducing new point of sale hardware and software into your business is full of careful considerations. Determining the right feature set, usability concerns, payment acceptance, and security are all checkboxes on your shopping list. But what about POS solutions that offer to bundle hardware with software? Are the sales speak you are hearing indicating that you must bundle, or do you have some freedom of choice about the devices you use?
Weighing the Distinct Pros and Cons of Bundling Simpler than you Think
When standing at the crossroads of the “to bundle or not to bundle” fork in the road, bundling will present some strong arguments for its case. In theory, bundling means simplified support and the ability to implement everything in one go, which may sound appealing for an owner looking to avoid a drawn-out upgrade process. Also, bundling can help to settle an uneasy owner’s expectations about potential compatibility issues.
While not bundling hardware may cause you to cast untrusting eyes at a solution, the fact is that POS software is much more flexible than many give it credit. Determining the best POS solution for you will require that you build a level of comfort with both ideas. This way, you can create an objective pros and cons approach towards making the best decision possible.
Learn The Facts Before You React
This sounds simple, but are you well versed enough about POS systems to make this call alone? Discovering all of the nuances that come as part of a POS solution, while possible to accomplish on your own, will eat up valuable time that could be better served to conduct business. There is a better way to go about this that will save you time, and most likely greatly reduce the chances of a costly mistake.
Reaching out to a POS consultant is a better use of time, and will yield a significantly greater ROI than a do-it-yourself effort could produce. The benefits you will gain from a concisely constructed POS solution will give you the productivity and flexibility you are seeking while keeping your time investment at a minimum. This way, you can approach your efforts with excitement.
Unbundled POS Systems Give you an Extra Layer of Versatility
Despite the technical concerns around utilizing an unbundled hardware and software POS system, you will discover that the majority of the concerns are unsubstantiated. In fact, moving into a POS platform that allows you to bring your own devices can in fact give you a higher level of POS efficiency. The ability to choose the hardware you use can be based on the preferences of you and your staff, building the confidence of all those that need to use the devices.
This, of course, means that the hardware you select must be within a certain range of compatibility and functionality. As the migration towards the tablet and smartphone POS devices continues to gain traction in small businesses, the choice of hardware platforms as eased. Choosing between an iPad, an Android-based device, or Microsoft Surface technology all comes with only a couple of items that warrant deeper examination.
Determining Hardware Compatibility with POS Software a Fundamental Step
The most critical aspect of making hardware selections is determining how these devices will react to the apps and commands that your chosen POS software will send their way. Typically, the starting point is ensuring that the devices you choose are capable of running a supported operating system as required by the POS software.
This means that you must keep the future in mind as well. For example, choosing an older iPad that is running a supported operating system, while saving you money initially, will quickly fall short if the next iOS update will not work on your new device.
When choosing your POS devices, think of them as being a part of a three-year plan. Will the tablets and smartphones I am considering be compatible in three years? How long will Apple warranty the iPad model I am considering?
It is also worth noting that Apple devices tend to present a higher level of stability over their Android and Windows-based equivalents, and this must be factored into your decision-making process. Weighing these factors, as well as staff training and the ability to have rapid response support for your mission-critical devices, all must factor into the final decision.
Ensure that Required Peripherals Will Work with POS Devices and Software
One last, and unfortunately often missed, point of examination is the compatibility and functionality of required peripherals. Receipt printers, all-in-one printers, specialized invoice printers, and bar code scanners must all fall into the three-year compatibility plan. This gives you a clear picture not only around which peripherals are best for your scenario but will also create a formalized support plan across the board.
Staying with mainstream brands here will save you from a mountain of headaches. Printers by vendors like Epson and Star Micronics are very standard, easy to connect printing devices that will likely work with any device type or POS software you install. You also gain the advantage of a manufacturer’s warranty, professional support channels, and regular product updates.
When in doubt, contacting the vendors responsible for your POS devices and software will yield a treasure trove of valuable information that will guide you towards the best peripheral choices. And, most POS device and solutions providers already have a listing of preferred or recommended devices that you can select from, making the decision to go unbundled even easier.
Enlist Expert Guidance When Choosing Point of Sale Hardware and Software
Making the choice between a bundled POS solution or choosing to select your own hardware must be made only after extensive research has been performed. The time-consuming nature of the research involved in this process makes the cost-effective choice of seeking outside assistance a must. The POS system you choose today will be with you for a while, so why risk headaches and frustration when smooth sailing is a web click away?
The best thing you can do in making your decision a lasting, successful one is to engage with an expert in the POS industry. The POS consultant you choose should have demonstrated knowledge in your area of business, and have the ability to match your business goals and product requirements to a POS platform that serves you well into the future.
Seeking expert advice about a POS solution for your business requires an experienced partner to be at your side. At talech, we work with you to design a POS solution around your particular business and industry requirements. This leaves you operating with a high level of confidence in your POS solution, but with the flexibility to change as your business evolves. Contact us today to sign up for a free demo and to learn how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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